III. The Empress

The Empress Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law
The Empress
Shadowscapes Tarot by Stephanie Pui-Mun Law

As I spent the last week musing on this card, The Empress, I thought heavily on this meaning: experiencing the senses. While there are more than the basic five senses that we have been taught, I find myself regularly reflecting back on those themselves. They are engrained in my mind, and so I fall back on them when I think on sensual experience.

For many years, I kept my altars and shrines stripped down to the bare minimum. Icons, a candle or two, and incense. But when I began to peruse Kemeticism last year, I began to think more on the power of aestheticism, of experiencing visual pleasure through my altars and my worship.

We all do it, or at least most of us do. We’ll go through pages and pages of altar photos from our fellow PPRW communities and many regularly update the items on their shrines. As I rebuild my shrines and find dedicated spaces and items for my various gods, I wish to pursue more and more of this aesthetic aspect. Function and beauty, rather than simply function alone.

When I think on the times that I feel the most spiritual, they are firmly routed in the physical, in experience. As I take the elevator down to the first floor from work alone, I dance; I do the same on the drive home as I sing along with the radio, my body and my voice a gift to the gods. I take in beauty from the feeling of the breeze on my skin as I lay in bed in the early morning and in the last rays of sunlight staining the clouds red and orange and purple in the evening. These are the moments I feel most spiritual, the ones in which I am acting, doing, or taking the time to appreciate the world I live in.

This afternoon, I finished the last few pages of T. Thorn Coyle’s “Crafting a Daily Practice.” Her lesson plans are firmly routed in the physical and the body; doing instead of mulling. Action over thought is something I have found difficult in the past, as I am far more familiar and comfortable with my beliefs and my theories than their manifestation into practicum.

There has been a fire building in my belly, an ember now become a flame and soon to become a raging inferno if I do not tend to it soon. It builds on the regular, when I have clamped down on my desires to do and to act. Often, this relates to the creative process; fitting for this week’s inspiration, as creativity, nurturing, and fertility* are also associated with this card. It is when I become like the stagnant pond that the fire begins to burn more and more wild until I explode with frustration; this day I sense is soon to come.

So how do I push forward? By doing, by engaging myself. Small things at first, but then I must trust myself to fall harder into the pool that is my spirituality. I must, instead of talking, begin to walk.

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